Strange problem with IO or file system or what?

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http://unix.stackexchange.com – On a SLES 11 SP2 32-bit system I'm seeing a strange problem. It's as if the OS can not open a file from the beginning of the file. Say I have a file that is 200 lines. If I cat or more or vi the file, the system just hangs. The process never even starts. I can tail the same file, but only up to about 100 lines. These work: $ tail /path/to/file $ tail -n 25 /path/to/file This doesn't work: $ tail -n 100 /path/to/file Even an ls command on a directory with lots of files fails. There is plenty of disk space. The file system is read/write. An fsck did do some fixes but the problem (HowTos)